Any depiction of the prophets

The British Muslims for Secular Democracy Facebook page is, sadly, infested with Muslims who are very much against secular democracy, who are constantly trolling the page.

One of them posted the link to a nasty article about “prominent members of the Muslim community” writing to Nick Clegg to tell him to dump Maajid Nawaz as a candidate because he tweeted that innocuous Jesus and Mo cartoon.

It’s a disgusting piece of work.

The campaign comes after Nawaz posted a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Prophet Isa (as) on his Twitter feed. Any depiction of the prophets is considered offensive to most Muslims and has traditionally been prohibited by the majority of scholars.

Nawaz, who’s the chairman of the anti-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, defended his decision to post the cartoon by saying that it was not offensive and that scholars were split over the depiction of the Prophet. He also accused others of inciting his murder by calling him “a defamer of the Prophet.”

But Irfan Ahmed, who is an executive member of the Pendle Liberal Democrats, called on Nick Clegg and the Lib Dem leadership to sack Maajid Nawaz as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC).

Ahmed has written to the leadership of the Lib Dems and says he has also had a leading Lib Dem agree with him that Maajid’s comments are “childish” and “impolite”.

Commenting, Irfan Ahmed said: “I call on Maajid to do the right thing and quit whilst he is ahead. He has already done enough damage to the Lib Dems, him sticking around is very damaging for the party. My call to Nick Clegg is clear, sack Maajid or lose voters and core campaigners up and down the country.

“I have been discussing this matter since Friday night with a high profile Lib Dem who agrees people who attack religions with cartoons and other jokes are impolite and childish. Lets hope Nawaz can get this into his skull. Clegg must choose, lose hundreds of supporters by keeping Nawaz or sack Nawaz and rescue the Lib Dems which would fizzle out because of people like Nawaz.”

Or to put it another way: bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully bully.

Meanwhile, Imam Shams Adduha of Ebrahim College said Muslims were very insulted by Nawaz’s actions.

He said: “Will it finally get through people’s (especially) the government’s head that Maajid and Quillium Foundation have nothing to do with Muslims and have zero credibility? Taking advice from a think tank whose founder and director insults us isn’t good for the government. Pretty stupid actually.

“It might also be a good idea for Nick Clegg and his Lib Dems to think twice about letting him stand for elections as a Lib Dem candidate. The thing about insults is, it’s not about whether you think something should insult, it about whether something does in fact insult. Cartoon caricatures of our Prophet do indeed insult us.”

Absolute bollocks. People like Nawaz and Tehmina Kazi (who set up the British Muslims for Secular Democracy page) are glowing testimonials to the possibility for people’s ability to be both Muslim and secular-and-reasonable.

Trolls on the Facebook page are calling Nawaz all sorts of names. They are not glowing testimonials to Islam.



  1. Shatterface says

    The thing about insults is, it’s not about whether you think something should insult, it about whether something does in fact insult

    Interesting point of view.

    Personally I think all religion is an afront to my secular values as well as my intelligence so let’s not hear any excuses about it not being meant as such and religious people can withdraw from the public sphere so as not to upset me.

  2. John Morales says

    David @1, but that means it’s a depiction of a depiction.

    (Which makes it a rather spurious excuse)

  3. rnilsson says

    So, a great number of passport pix of male persons with a typical Arabic name are prohibited because teh P,Pbuh had the same name? What to do. Change the spelling maybe? WALK to the cube-ah?

  4. rnilsson says

    Oh, and who ses mo in’t mo-ses? Were you there, can you id them? Both? (That would be sourcery, and prohib.)

  5. leskimopie says

    “he has also had a leading Lib Dem agree with him that Maajid’s comments are “childish” and “impolite”.”

    Because getting pissy and throwing a tantrum over someone’s drawing you dont like and demanding they take it down or else, is clearly not childish and impolite…

  6. Katherine Woo says

    I am just surprised no one is calling to arrest Nawaz under one of those “hate speech” law that Europe so loves. I vaguely remember the Mr. Bean actor campaign against an attempt in Britain to criminalize insulting religion just a few years ago.

  7. latsot says

    Well, quite. I know half a dozen devout Muslims who are as mystified as anyone else why nastiness should result from drawing pictures and then saying they’re pictures of Mohammed. Let alone weakly implying it. I suspect I know a lot more who feel the same, but it’s something we happen never to have discussed. Why would we? I don’t expect it’s high on their list of priorities, probably why it has never come up.

    There’s no doubt that there are Muslims who inflate these supposed insults – we have plenty of examples – but I think the appropriate response is to look at who these people are and to what degree they’re representative of actual people, then shrug off the concerns like we do when the pope tells us not to go in for the old trouser love or that women aren’t good enough to hand out sweets.

  8. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @John Morales, #3:

    David @1, but that means it’s a depiction of a depiction.

    (Which makes it a rather spurious excuse)

    Or, it might just make it a joke as it couldn’t possibly be a depiction of Mohammed as we have no record of his appearance and there’s no way that there could be a body double for the same reason.

    It might even be a joke designed to inspire thought.

    But no, it’s probably a pitiful excuse.

  9. John Morales says

    Crip Dyke @9, I suppose if you hold dead people can’t be depicted without an available record of their appearance, then the cartoonist cannot be depicting a body double, either.

    (Also, to claim that Mo cannot be depicted is likewise an excuse of arguable merit)

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